Rather than their usual poll for the Times, this week YouGov have a full MRP model of voting intention (that is, the same method that YouGov used for their seat projection at the general election). Topline voting intention figures from the YouGov MRP model are CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 5%. The fieldwork was Sun-Thursday last week, with just over 40,000 respondents.

The aim of an MRP model is not really the vote shares though, the whole point of the technique is project shares down to seat level, and project who would win each seat. The model currently has the Conservatives winning 321 seats, Labour 250, the Liberal Democrats 16 and the SNP 39. Compared to the 2017 election the Conservatives would make a net gain of just 4 seats, Labour would lose 12 seats, the Liberal Democrats would gain 4 and the SNP would gain 4. It would leave the Conservatives just shy of an overall majority (though in practice, given Sinn Fein do not take their seats and the Speaker and Deputies don’t vote, they would have a majority of MPs who actually vote in the Commons). Whether an extra four seats would really help that much is a different question.

The five point lead it shows for the Conservatives is a swing of 1.4% to the Conservatives – very small, but on a pure uniform swing it would be enough for the Tories to get a proper overall majority. The reason they don’t here is largely because the model shows Labour outperforming in the ultra-marginal seats they won off the Conservatives at the last election (a well known phenomenon – they gain the personal vote of the new Labour MP, lose any incumbency bonus from the former Tory MP. It is the same reason the Conservatives failed to gain a meaningful number of seats in 2001, despite a small swing in their favour).

For those interested in what MRP actually is, YouGov’s detailed explanation from the 2017 election is here (Ben Lauderdale & Jack Blumenau, who created the model for the 2017 election, also carried out this one). The short version is that it is a technique designed to allow projection of results at smaller geographical levels (in this case, individual constituencies). It works by modelling respondents’ voting intention based on their demographics and the political circumstances in each seat, and then applying the model to the demographics of each of the 632 seats in Great Britain. Crucially, of course, it also called the 2017 election correctly, when most of the traditional polls ended up getting it wrong.

Compared to more conventional polling the Conservative lead is similar to that in YouGov’s recent traditional polls (which have shown Tory leads of between 5-7 points of late), but has both main parties at a lower level. Partly this is because it’s modelling UKIP & Green support in all seats, rather than in just the constituencies they contested in 2017 (when the MRP was done at the last election it was after nominations had closed, so it only modelled the actual parties standing in each seat) – in practice their total level of support would likely be lower.

The Times’s write up of the poll is here, details from YouGov are here and technical details are here


1,157 Responses to “YouGov MRP seat projection – CON 321, LAB 250, LDEM 16, SNP 39”

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  1. Interesting that this less usual method of polling still gives the potential outcome of virtually no change if an election was held now. We’ve been in this territory of very small Tory majorities or Tories being just short of a majority for nearly 10 years now.
    So unless the talk of new parties or splits in old parties actually amounts to anything nothing changes.

  2. Unlikely to change until something significant happens with brexit.

  3. For Scotland (though YG still haven’t had the courtesy to reply to my query as to whether they weight Scotland to internal demographics in their large polls) the “best estimate” seat projections are in line with other polling (though the identifiable Unionist constituencies on the map sum to 19 and the YG table has SNP on 39, so there appears to be a missing constituency!).

    SNP 39, SCon 13, SLD 4, SLab 2.

    Oddly, while the vote share tables show 0% for both SGP and UKIP, they show 2% for “Others”.

    Are former UKIP, BNP and other far-right voters hoping to vote for the new Brexit party?

  4. Just need an election campaign to reverse that lead! Corbyn seems to love and revel in the campaign spotlight as much as May hates and flounders in it. Pretty meaningless poll, but here’s hoping May sees it and gives us another early election.

  5. On reconsideration, since YG replicated the 2017 candidates (or similar), many of the Scots 2% others may represent SGP supporters hoping that they will have a candidate to vote for.

  6. JamesB

    “Unlikely to change until something significant happens with brexit.”

    Agreed. It seems likely that many voters are hoping that their preferred party can bring about the Brexit conclusion that they prefer. In which case, there is no particular reason to change now.

    If their MPs can sit on the fence, why shouldn’t they?

  7. Interesting stuff.

    I ran my model using YG’s regional data last weekend and came up with:

    Con 316
    Lab 245
    Lib Dem 18
    SNP 48

  8. CMJ

    “SNP 48”

    I’ll happily take that – as long as the other 11 are SGP or SSP! :-)

    In reality, while every poll indicates that the SNP will increase its share of the Westminster FPTP seats from its current 60%, the seat calculators also show that if the UK Unionist vote splits equally between SCon & SLab the SNP seat increase, but if one of them (currently SLab) continues to diminish, then the other UK Unionist party can maintain something like its current seat share.

    It’s very unpredictable!

    Essentially, it depends on the distribution of voters in each constituency on the 4 quadrants produced by the two constitutional questions of Brexit and Independence.

  9. @STEAMDRIVENANDY (previous thread)

    “if the SNP stood in elections south of the border they might well win some English seats.”

    Could be, but there are two big problems with them doing that.

    1. If they are that popular in England, said folk in England would hardly vote to have them separate, and risk losing them. Ergo, they would effectively have a voter base that would vote against their core purpose (short of a rump of England-based voters than want Scotland to go it alone).

    2. Imagine if the SNP had more support in England than in Scotland. Then they would become motivated to sing to the tune of their England-based voters over their Scots-based ones.

    Or in other words, the Scottish Labour Party. :D

    @CMJ / Oldnat

    Isn’t there a boundary change imminent, where Scotland get reduced to 53 seats?

  10. UC took this from a thread about homelessness:

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/homeless-man-shares-sleeping-bag-13965488?fbclid=IwAR256dQSn5Mi5y1GrSaFqyeTyogpsKgj7KrFt8EmGtoyInmDW22b74bnrns

    I’m on universal credit after being made redundant before Christmas. I receive £408 a month. My rent/bills per month is £675. I’m surviving the deficit by using two overdraft accounts and two credit cards. If I don’t find employment by the end of April I will be sleeping with the rats too.

  11. OLDNAT

    On reconsideration, since YG replicated the 2017 candidates (or similar), many of the Scots 2% others may represent SGP supporters hoping that they will have a candidate to vote for.

    No it’s not. According to the methodology:

    Regardless of whether the parties stood candidates at the last election, we included response options for Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green and Other in all English, Scottish and Welsh constituencies, plus SNP in Scotland and PC in Wales. Where there was no candidate last time, we listed only the party; where there was a candidate last time, we listed the party and the candidate. At the last election the Green Party and UKIP did not stand candidates in all constituencies, and much of the estimated increase in the performance of those parties since 2017 is attributable to all respondents having the possibility of voting for these parties.

    So UKIP and SGP did score negligibly in Scotland – though many of their potential supporters may have not bothered because history would lead them to think they wouldn’t stand in reality. ‘Other’ here represents people who are saying they would vote for another unspecified Party. Indeed enough people chose this option for MRP to flip East Devon from Con to Ind (not impossible, but Ashfield is a more likely Ind gain).

    Indeed it’s noticeable how few seat do change hands and in some cases (Peterborough, Hallam, Barrow) it’s possibly influenced by the Labour name being no longer in the Party. MRP ought to smooth this out, but I doubt it’s a coincidence that these are among the very few that switch.

  12. Given that May was 25 points ahead in the last election and still threw her majority out of the window, she might lose this one unless she has learned how to campaign properly.

  13. Interesting polling. It feels like everything is in suspended animation due to Brexit. I suspect labour and Corbyn will perform better than some think if and when life moves beyond the EU, whereas the government face some epic challenges on the home front, that have been entirely obscured by Brexit. Having said that, Corbyn is deeply unpopular to many, so it will be a struggle for them.

    I suspect that a more acceptable Labour leader would sweep away May in a post Brexit GE, given the huge amount of ammunition Labour would have, but we are where we are.

  14. Well, yes.

    The problem is that whether UKIP still have the capacity to stand candidates is debatable. There may be a new Farage-led Brexit Party to confuse things and conceivably, lots of different ‘Continuity UKIP’ candidates without any coordination or consistent campaign.

    It’s a shame you can’t bet on abstentions, because I think there’ll be a huge swing to ‘None of the Above’ (as opposed to ‘Can’t be Bothered’).

  15. “I suspect that a more acceptable Labour leader would sweep away May in a post Brexit GE, given the huge amount of ammunition Labour would have, but we are where we are.”

    Ah David Miliband rides to rescue. Or maybe Yvette Cooper.

    What a load of baloney. A bland, centrist “no real change” candidate will bleed support rapidly to either Greens, local nationalists or not voting at all.

  16. CB11 won’t be happy with no-oh deary me no.

  17. Still waiting for The Revolution I see NickP

  18. ALEC

    @”but we are where we are.”

    Hmmm-I’m not so sure.

  19. @PETE
    I had dinner with a few expats (including some other nationalities) and two couples who were second homers.. Three of the four second homers were leavers, and quite vociferous they were too. They had, however, no idea that their visits would be now restricted to 3 months in any 6. They had expected, now they have retired, to spend their summers in France.
    Of course the 3 month rule is in place now, but it is not enforced among EU members who, more or less, have total freedom of movement. The Brits were astonished that this puts them in the same boat as the Americans and Aussies and refused to believe it.

  20. @ Oldnat

    You’re not being very ambitious- if I was SNP I’d be disappointed with anything less than 59.

    Interesting poll in the sense that a lot of arguments on here have been about Mansfield v Canterbury and while Kensington does appear as a move back to Tories there is very little to back up either argument in terms of who Labour has to appeal to (leave town seats mostly in North and Midlands or City remain seats mostly in South)

    @ Alec
    I tend to agree with Nick P, although there’s obviously a truth to what you say. It’s a case of who is that more “acceptable” leader who is still capable of enthusing voters who want change? Also is there a unifying candidate who won’t suffer from the same undermining from “the usual suspects” within Labour which already existed whenever Ed Miliband put forward more modest proposals in 2015.

    And of course once the right wing press have dealt with any radical candidate (as they did with Miliband) that candidate then becomes “unacceptable” as well. There is a strong sense of may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

  21. NP
    But hasn’t it been proved time after time that the centre ground is where elections are won or lost. Just because it doesn’t fit with your own politics, doesn’t mean that’s not still true.

  22. Many thanks AW, very interesting polling and summaries.

    My own view is that the Tories would probably take around 326 seats the additional 5 seats all coming from Labour. However as somebody else said it’s rather meaningless, as there is very unlikely to be a GE. However if Corbyn did force one this close to Brexit I actually think there would be a significantly greater swing to the Tories because I still believe in their hearts a majority want us to leave the EU and would be angry at a party preventing it. Just IMO of course.

  23. I may have got my maths wrong (not the first time) but it appears the curiosity of the MRP result is whilst giving the same, large gap, headline percentages as Yougov have been giving for a while the seat calculation would appear to be more in line with the results that emerge from the other pollsters (save the most recent ones) that put the parties roughly neck and neck with a silight Tory lead and Labour losing support to Lib Dem and don’t know.

  24. @ Steam Driven Andy

    Certainly historically centre ground has been where UK elections were won, although you could make of strong argument that Kinnock was more centre ground than Thatcher.

    The danger of this view is that just because this was the case in the past doesn’t mean it is the case in the future and you are missing history in the making. Across Europe for example you are starting to see non centre ground come very close or winning. Different electoral systems for sure but in almost every European country centre ground is clinging on by its fingernails.

    Was Trump centre ground? Was Leave centre ground? Is 5 star and the League centre ground?

    How likely is it that a centrist politician is going to find the solution for a western economy unable to compete in a globalised world which has caused 10 years of near stagnation despite throwing huge stimulus at various economies? Unlikely that “business as usual” is going to do that therefore voters will turn to something else- especially younger ones, many of whom have been priced out of the property market or are in increasingly minimum wage jobs. They are therefore less scared of radical change because they have little to lose.

    Are there any economists left who go on past history and assume that eventually interest rates will return to their traditional 5%?

    Things change and just because something has been the case for 40 years doesn’t mean it stays the same forever.

  25. @PETE

    And to think people were saying Leavers are stupid !!!

  26. For some strange reason, reporting of yesterday’s GDP figures seemed to focus on the 1.4% annual growth, with the 0.2% quarterly growth relegated to second line reporting. The -0.4% December shrinkage was barely mentioned, even though this is by far the most significant number. A near half percent shrinkage of the economy in a single month is pretty dramatic, and while more based on estimates than the earlier periods, if this is anything like correct, it suggests we’ve entered a very sharp slow down.

    Yesterday’s letter from the food and drink organisations was also information. It’s author explained this morning that 1 in 10 of the firms they represent expect to go bankrupt if there is a no deal, and one in four exporting firms in their associated groups is expecting bankruptcy within 6 weeks of a no deal.

    My guess is that these may well be smaller firms (although this isn’t necessarily the case) so the impact on employment won’t necessarily be proportional, but nonetheless, this is a big sector, with lots of jobs, and even if these statements are two or three times worse than the outcome, it’s a big hit to the economy.

    It looks like the ‘mitigation’ in ‘mitigated no deal’ means Universal Credit all round.

  27. @PETE

    P.S sorry to hear about your predicament. I was in a similar one over Christmas. UC doesn’t make sense, especially here down south where rents can be double what they will pay. Seek advice before plunging further into debt! :)

  28. @Nickp – “What a load of baloney. A bland, centrist “no real change” candidate will bleed support rapidly to either Greens, local nationalists or not voting at all.”

    I didn’t say centrist. Corbyn is unpopular among many groups, not necessarily because of his position on the left/right spectrum. I think a more acceptable leader with a similar policy package would terrify Tories. No idea who that might be though.

  29. steam driven thingy

    “But hasn’t it been proved time after time that the centre ground is where elections are won or lost. Just because it doesn’t fit with your own politics, doesn’t mean that’s not still true.”

    nah – Atlee, Thatcher – it depends obviously how you define the centre. Couldn’t get a better centre ground candidate than Ed Miliband. Look what happened.

  30. alec

    “not sure who that might be though”

    Exactly. It’s Corbyn or some imaginary candidate who is Corbyn but liked by the Daily Mail – highly unlikely.

    I refer again to Ed Miliband – what happened there?

  31. @Nearlyfrench – it’s really been something of a painful process to watch, patiently exposing the leave myths and then waiting until the pennies drop.

    Whether it’s the certainty that May won’t talk about money until we’ve got a trade deal, we’ll have 40 trade deals ready for March 29th, they need us more than we need them or expat leavers expecting freedom of movement for them to carry on but not for others, it’s all the same.

    The gradual chipping away of the confident certainties as reality intrudes.

  32. YG Model

    In AW’s write-up this section is key:

    “Partly this is because it’s modelling UKIP & Green support in all seats”

    It should be relatively easy for YG model to look at various “scenarios”, the obvious one being UKIP (or BrexitParty) do not contest any seats – my model allows me to do this. In Electoral Calculus, regional models, etc you can move the “top line” numbers as a crude guess but it will miss where UKIP are still denying CON a seat.

    You’ll have to make an “assumption” but you can make a few different ones.

    1/ Low end. Say 30% UKIP abstain, 50% vote CON, 20% vote LAB (should add 5-10 seats for CON)
    2/ High end. Say 10% UKIP abstain, 80% vote CON, 10% vote LAB (should add 15-20 seats for CON)

    Perhaps take an example: Dudley North, still shown as LAB seat and not likely to change.
    If UKIP (Brexit Party) stand then I’d agree, if they don’t stand then CON should win that seat.

    Any YG folks reading the comments – could you possibly run these scenario and show the changes
    (please send a copy to CCHQ!!)

    Clearly there is “grassroots” tactical issues that might come in at last minute as well (eg Green’s pull a candidate or have a “paper” candidate) but the Greens don’t have the numbers in the seats that would make a material difference.

    PS There might well be “seat level” issues that keep Dudley North LAB (Austin is backing Brexit), my model will miss that micro data as I don’t have the amount of data the YG do. The other big issue, as we saw in 2017 was how important the demographics were (e.g. most Uni seats went LAB), again I’ll miss that.

    If YG could update the election centre site it would be much appreciated – as we mere mortals can then see where our models differ significantly from YG. The updated map is useful but it would be nice to see how marginal some seats are (beyond those listed)

    Thanks, great to talk seat prediction models!

  33. YG model should also be able to make some assumptions and predictions on party splits.

    The “assumptions” you put into that and how you’d weight the demographics would be highly subjective of course but I’d suggest (for purposes of starting a discussion).

    LAB split (Remain MPs form new party)
    – Arch-Remainers, youth vote, wealthier/home owners, 2017 switch voters (ie not so tribal) would be more likely to vote for new party
    – More tribal voters, poorer/renting, public sector, etc would be more likely to “stick” with Corbyn LAB
    – Might pick up some LDEM and possibly some CON-Remain

    CON split (ERG form a new party, possible join BrexitParty)
    – Arch-Leave, 2017 switch voters from UKIP (ie not so tribal) would be more likely to vote for new party
    – More tribal voters would “stick” with May CON (I’m not sure about the demographics on age, wealth, home owner, etc)
    – Probably swallow most, if not all UKIP, possibly pick up a few LAB (especially those who were UKIP’15 LAB’17)

    If you look at scenario of one party splitting but not the other it should land the party that stays together a decent majority (eg a LAB: 2/3 L-OLD to 1/3 L-NEW split would add roughly 80 seats to CON with L-OLD losing about 100 but L-NEW only keeping around 20 of those)

    If CON-Remain MPs split, the effect is not as big as CON-Leave split but would still be enough to cost them 10ish seats (using my guessed assumptions). If they both split it’s a total mess

    NB Electoral Calculus allow you to “split” LAB so you get a rough idea of how significant a party split is. All MPs should know this. If you split your party to basically kill it – this is why May and Corbyn can take a few liberties with the different wings of their parties – but need to be very careful in overdoing it (e.g. if you going to be deselected anyway then why not go out in a blaze of 5min fame glory and write a book about it!!)

  34. @ NickP

    “Couldn’t get a better centre ground candidate than Ed Miliband. Look what happened.”

    Can’t agree with that. The perception at the time was that Ed Milliband had repositioned his party a bit to the left of where it had been under Blair and Brown. The ‘red Ed’ tag stuck. It seems to me that he got the worst of both worlds, being perceived as neither occupying the centre ground, nor enthusing enough support form those wanting something more radical-left. And above all, he just wasn’t very convincing as a leader.

  35. @ WB61 – YG MRP is different to their normal polls.

    Their model was less accurate than they make out[1] – fair play to them, they were closest and need to “market” their product.

    However, worth pointing out that back in 2017 their MRP model was giving different headline numbers to their normal polls. Given the different approach you would expect a small difference.

    It does make one ponder whether the model has an “in-built” LAB bias (not intentional, just an observation)

    [1] They have huge confidence ranges around their predictions but “mid” was 302 CON seats and that was based on a 4% CON lead. The actual result was 318 CON seats and a 2.4% CON lead. IE they were 16 seats “out” and that was based on a further 1.6% difference in votes (worth an additional 10-20 seats for a total error of 30ish)

  36. “However, worth pointing out that back in 2017 their MRP model was giving different headline numbers to their normal polls. Given the different approach you would expect a small difference.”

    Actually, while YouGov’s final pre-election poll in 2017 showed a different result (42/35 to Con), the previous two polls at the end of May were very similar to the model at 42/38 and 42/39 respectively.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2017_United_Kingdom_general_election

    YouGov themselves rather confused the matter by expressing their confidence in the likely correctness of their final 42/35 poll, at a time when there was no other evidence for a late swing back to Con.

  37. @ NICKP – As you can see from the comments on here, Corbyn picked up a bunch of “EU luvvies” who do not want a Socialist Revolution. They should have voted LDEM (or SNP) but for various reasons didn’t (e.g. student loan grudge, not yet IndyRef2, no realistic chance for their preferred party due to FPTP system, etc)

    Although no formal elections pacts took place (Farron was too arrogant for that), a bunch of “tactical voting” sites popped up and some “grassroots” level tactical voting “pacts” popped up (e.g Greens pulled out of Ealing)

    “Unite against the Tories”
    https://www.tactical2017.com/key-seats/

    In most cases ABC = LAB, LDEM gained few seats and SNP had other issues!

    Very few people thought Corbyn would win and become PM but plenty of folks wanted to “protest” against CON and Brexit – dent the size of May’s predicted majority.

    Next time your not just ABC (as in CON) but your voting for a realistic chance of Marxists in #10 and #11! ABC could become “Anyone But Corbyn”!!

    This “tactical voting” write-up covers some of the “nose holding” that helped Corbyn in 2017. Of course some CON-Remain stuck with CON even though they are “EU luvvies” but as has been discussed on here before some of those did leave in 2017 and the ones that stayed probably fear Corbyn-McDonnell more than Brexit!

    Ironically tactical voting massively back-fired, as May lost her majority and needs to rely on DUP and ERG. Had May won a 40+ majority we wouldn’t be where we are today!

    By denying May a large majority she is forced to rely on the “nutters” (and she has more “nutters” than “luvvies” as folks like Peston are finally working out).

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-voting-systems-elections-tactical-game-system-research-general-theresa-may-conservatives-reform-a7903961.html

  38. Interesting view from NI businesses and freight specialists about the very limited impacts of May’s deal on GB/NI trade – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/11/may-brexit-deal-would-mean-checks-on-nine-trucks-a-day-study

    Not sure how the numbers stack up, but the qioted data sources appear to be solid enough, and based on real world data.

    In a nutshell, the study claims that under the May deal, only an average of 9 trucks per day affected 4 drivers only (as 60% of trucks are loaded as driverless trailers) would be required, and that this level of inspection is perfectly manageable.

    The trade associations who commissioned the study are suggesting that this dispels the myth of the deal creating a border down the Irish Sea. As ever with NI, however, up pops the DUP to claim a critical philosophical principle is being broken…..

  39. @ CHARLES (Last thread) – Your missing the point. We have a CON PM and HMG (relying on DUP support).

    Consider this:

    “Is May going to renationalise the railways”

    Also, see WB61 and HIRETON’s links from last thread.

    Now perhaps May is a deep under-cover Marxist plant, intent on destroying her own party and handing the keys of #10 and #11 to Marxists – I doubt it, but you never know ;)

  40. “YouGov themselves rather confused the matter by expressing their confidence in the likely correctness of their final 42/35 poll, at a time when there was no other evidence for a late swing back to Con.”

    Yougov also did what I recall they often had previously done for the final poll before an election and change methodology regarding likelyhood to vote. I seem to remember on this occasion that accounted for over half the shift.

  41. At the last election labour used a highly successful strategy, which looks still applicable now.

    They left the conservatives to do all the talking about brexit, and merely pointed out they were more remain. By default they got on board the remainers.

    They spent their time talking about social issues, to get onboard the left. In particular, the left who werent very impressed by centrist Blair. They benefitted form a leader who did not hedge nearly so much towards the centre.

    This brought them from far behind to pretty much where they stand now. Yet the support of both parties has unravelled since then, and there is plenty of scope to get more voters onboard. The general shift towards remain implies there are more remaines to be got, and austerity keeps grinding along.

    So.. if we compare this to the situation at the start of the last campaign, we might predict an election called right now would be a win for labour.

    But only if it can keep onboard the remainers.

  42. Trevor Warne,
    “Ironically tactical voting massively back-fired, as May lost her majority and needs to rely on DUP and ERG. Had May won a 40+ majority we wouldn’t be where we are today!”

    Yes, we would. The last election never stood any chance of assisting the PM get through a deal because the main opposition is internal. Whether you believe as I do that this is largely synthetic, or totally real, it is conservative MPs blocking a deal now, and if there were more of them, they would still be divided, just into bigger camps.

    The fundamental question they are arguing about is ‘the backstop’, but this is code for membership of the CU and SM. The factions would be the same if there was no Irish problem. The DUP have just provided some cover for the government and helped them shift blame.

  43. Elections have never been fought on the centre ground.

    They are thought over the ground between you and your principle opponent or opponents largely by pitching in to their territory.

    It’s often the case in two Party systems like the UK and US that the battleground coincides with the demographic middle but not always.

    For example the SNP overcame Labour dominance in Scotland by successfully pitching for the under average earnings working class Labour vote that was to the left of centre.

    This is probably a clumsy analogy but it can be imagined and drawn ( by someone better than me) as;

    The Beachball Under the Steps of the Slide!

    Imagine the electorate graphed by income. It rises stepply then slopes off gentle like a playground slide.

    Now divide the space below the graph into party share by income. Crudely the Labour (red) vote would mostly be on the step side and the Tory vote (blue) under the slide with the LibDems (Orange) sandwiched in between.

    Now draw some circles as large as you can to fit within the colours and this gives your target. You pitch towards this by appealing in part to it while not alienating your own voters, often by trying to frighten theirs.

    The shorter the distance and the larger the circle the easier it is to target. Having to stretch a long way from yours to a smaller one elsewhere is harder.

    In Scotland before 2000 the Labour vote was the largest circle by far and centred below and slightly left of the average income level. This was also close to the SNP so the battle was in fact not for the middle but left of centre.

    Peter.

  44. Nick

    My perception of Milliband (E) was that he worked his way into the leadership and was perceived as lack lustre and had no great communication skills. That was what did for Labour’s chances, not their policies. Even the JC effect is personality politics with some folk trusting a scruffy threadbare pullover wearing grandpa cyclist, but not enough to get Labour a decent majority.

  45. SDA

    hmmm

    I’m not convinced I see another candidate who would have the socialist credentials or hold the trust of the membership of Corbyn.

    Blair burned a lot of fingertips.

  46. ALEC
    I was surprised too that there was so little discussion about the terrible December GDP number. The January snapshot of +.3 might have encouraged the feeling that it’s a blip. We shall see.

  47. New Kantar poll – 7-11 Feb – showing Tories up 5 and Labour down 3 giving the blues a 5% lead.
    This looks like a pattern emerging.

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